Team: Kostas Bolos | Team Roster
Reason: Debated whether to select a running back in this slot, but Fitzgerald is a great value pick here. The strategy of drafting wideouts with my first two picks could backfire, but I am willing to take my chances with what could be arguably the top two fantasy receivers this season.
Standards Set: I fully expect Fitzgerald to have 90-plus receptions, 1,400-plus yards with 13 touchdowns.
Team: Ryan R. Bonini | Team Roster
Reason: I hate that I took a receiver this early! However, several same-tier backs should fall to me in the third, and I anticipate a ton of receivers going quickly. Johnson, who is KFFL.com's No. 1 rated receiver this year, was targeted no less than five times in every game last season, including seven games of double-digit targets. He had five 100-plus-yard games and scored in 10 games. Everyone knew the ball was going his way, and Johnson STILL had 1,331 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. He's a beast. With an improved ground game, stability at quarterback (maybe) and another year under his belt, he's going to continue turning heads.
Others Considered: I considered Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis (again), but I'm wary of his mileage. New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss was also very tempting - and safer - when I opted to go the receiver route.
Standards Set: To think he will do better than his production last year might be ludicrous, but I think he can match it. I expect his receptions to increase, with his yards-per-catch decreasing by a yard or two.
Team: Nicholas Minnix | Team Roster
Reason: The running back-by-committee approach is the way of the world these days. When what is likely the last truly reliable featured back is on the board, how do you pass that up? Washington's offense will actually have some continuity in Year 2 under head coach Jim Zorn. Portis still has a couple of road trips left in him, and he's an underrated pass catcher.
Others Considered: None
Standards Set: Portis is a virtual lock for about 1,300 rushing yards. I'll look for 30-plus receptions and 10 to 12 total touchdowns. I expect more in all areas.
Team: Tim Heaney | Team Roster
Reason: Another bruising, non-pass-catching back? I couldn't pass up the touchdown machine. Sure, Jacobs should miss some time due to his playing style, but no back matches his combination of athleticism and brutishness. Rookie back Andre Brown may be the new Derrick Ward, but at this point, only the doctor's table can truly stop Jacobs.
Standards set: Jacobs should score at least 14 times in a full season of work. I also expect a base of around 1,300 yards.
Team: Cory J. Bonini | Team Roster
Reason: I wanted a top-flight receiver and assumed there would be a big run on them in the second round. I figured if I grabbed a second running back here I'd miss out on the upper-echelon wideouts, and there was enough depth at running back to allow me to take a calculated risk. The healthy return of quarterback Tom Brady (knee) can't hurt Moss' fantasy value, either.
Standards Set: I don't expect 23 touchdown receptions again, but Moss crossed the stripe 11 times with Matt Cassel tossing the ball, so why can't he score at least 14 with Brady, all things even? I expect 80-85 receptions for 1,300-1,400 yards and 14-17 touchdowns.
Team: Tim Piotrowski | Team Roster
Reason: Even though there is a three-headed monster in Dallas, and they may use the "Razorback" formation, Barber is clearly the team's No. 1 running back as well as their short-yardage runner. He was slowed by a toe injury last season but is fully healthy and has reached paydirt at least 10 times in two of the last three seasons.
Standards Set: I am hoping for around 1,000 yards rushing and at least 10 touchdowns on the ground. As a receiver, I would like to see Barber reach at least 45 receptions and two touchdowns.
Team: Matt Wilson | Team Roster
Reason: Although I am a big Stud Running Back Theory guy, I don't see a back with enough value to be selected here. Colston is probably a bit of a reach, but I think he will bounce back from a disappointing 2008 season, and I don't think he will be on the board when I pick again at 3.06. After struggling with injuries for a good part of 2008, Colston caught fire, amassing 678 yards and five scores on 42 receptions in eight contests, which is close to his 2007 pace when he notched 98 catches for 1,202 yards with 11 touchdowns. There is some risk here: Colston had microfracture surgery on one of his kneecaps in May. According to everything I have been reading, he is expected to be ready for the regular season.
Standards Set: Assuming he is healthy, 90 receptions for 1,200 yards and 12 scores looks like a safe bet.
Team: Keith Hernandez | Team Roster
Reason: I like Wayne as my No. 1 wide receiver as long as Peyton Manning is his quarterback. Not worried that his production will fall off without Marvin Harrison, in fact he should have a more prominent role. Wayne has six-career 100-yard games and eight touchdowns in 14 games without Harrison on the same field.
Standards Set: I'm expecting anywhere from 80 to 90 receptions in 2009, after he put up 82 catches and six touchdowns a year ago.
Team: Bryce McRae | Team Roster
Reason: I wanted to secure another solid running back, one that would be guaranteed at least the lion's share of the carries on his team (pun unintended). He showed last year he has the power to stand up during a full season with three of his best games to finish the season. The Lions have a quarterback (and hopefully passing game) that can take some pressure off him unlike last year.
Standards Set: I'm expecting 1,100-plus yards and upwards of 10 touchdowns from the second-year back. Another 39 receptions (or more) would be nice along with 300-plus receiving yards.
Team: John Kotch Jr. | Team Roster
Reason: I realize this was a little early to draft Jones, considering his uncertain role with the team along with last year's toe injury. In 2008, Jones played in only six games all year, and started none, but averaged 8.9 yards per carry. Reports are that Jones will have an expanded role in 2009. There has even been word out of Valley Ranch that Barber could go back to the more limited role he played under former head coach Bill Parcells, and Jones could be implemented as the featured back. It's a gamble, but I think Jones will be a much bigger part of the Cowboys offensive in 2009, amassing a lot of yards and scoring a lot of touchdowns.
Others Considered: None
Standards Set: I don't know that Jones could have the kind of production that, say, Houston Texans running back Steve Slaton had last year, but I think Jones' knack for big plays will make it difficult for the Cowboys to keep him on the bench for too long. I expect to see Jones touch the ball up to 20 times per game both on the ground and through the air, ending the year with approximately 1,500 total yards and 12 touchdowns.
Team: Mike Egnak | Team Roster
Reason: Brown performed decently last season, rushing for more than 900 yards in his first year back from reconstructive knee surgery. Brown recently said he could see that he wasn't 100 percent healthy last year. Head coach Tony Sparano has been raving about Brown during offseason workouts, saying how he is impressed with Brown's conditioning and that he will be able to play as much as they feel he needs next year. The team has also continued to upgrade along their offensive line, bringing in center Jake Grove this offseason.
Standards Set: It would be nice to see Brown break 1,000 yards rushing for the second time in his career, as well as scoring around eight touchdowns for the year. He should be good for at least 30 receptions and 250 receiving yards, as well.
Team: Ilan Mochari | Team Roster
Reason: Bush snagged 52 receptions in 10 games. In his first two seasons he caught a combined 161 balls in 28 contests. Bush has also scored at least six touchdowns in each of his three campaigns. In a PPR format, stats like that offset his lack of rushing yards. The presence of running back Pierre Thomas doesn't bother me. When Bush plays, he gets his touches.
Standards Set: I'm expecting 16 games - he's due, after these last two years. Given his track record, a healthy Bush is capable of 90 catches, eight touchdowns and 1,200-plus yards from scrimmage. It's his fourth season in the same offense; there's no reason he shouldn't reach career highs.
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